Monday, July 28, 2008

Landon: Feasting on the Scriptures, Literally

Our 7 1/2 month old Landon, has taken "feasting on the scriptures" to a whole new level. Today, I put him on the floor for a few minutes while I was in the adjoining room putting away some groceries. I felt pretty safe about the wide open space in which I had left him because he isn't quite crawling yet (although he can certainly move across the floor in his own way--mostly a combination of rolling and scooting). I was startled when I heard what sounded like the ripping of paper. I was even more shocked when I ran into the room to find that he had moved clear across the floor to where my scriptures were resting and had torn a page out of Genesis and was literally eating the page. After catching a few quick pictures, I tried to salvage the page. Landon was not happy. Unfortunately, his little "feast" took a chunk out of the story of Joseph and the coat of many colors. In a few years, we'll teach him the real way to feast on the words of God.

Friday, July 25, 2008

Outtakes From a Fun-filled Week

We had a fun week with the kids. You've heard the saying, "pictures say a thousand words", so I'll keep my comments short and let you view for yourself.

Jones' Lake house

Jacob & Kaylee on the boat with Elizabeth and Rick.

Jacob and Slater fishing with Mikey.

Bowling outing with Lallatins.

Family photo op before heading to the Youth Dance Festival.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

A Bouquet of Love

I'm allergic to weeds, but not to love. Kaylee picked me a bouquet of love the other morning, while I was attending the baby shower of a friend. She proudly brought me the Dandelion bouquet, knowing I would love the vibrant yellow "flowers". She doesn't know that Dandelions are really weeds, obnoxious ones that I'm allergic to. What she does know is that I love flowers, and I love her. She put those facts together and decided I'd also love "flowers" from her. And, she was right. I love my bouquet of love. (Who cares if I had to take an extra Benadryl tablet that day, right?)

A Wheel of Unfortunate Events

Our dreams of winning it big on Wheel of Fortune were dashed Wednesday night when our group failed to produce a single audition candidate. Our hours (o.k., minutes)of preparation & psyching ourselves up for our big moment fizzled long before final auditions were over. You see, we mistakenly believed that candidates would be hand-picked by what we call the FECIP factor (FUN ENTHUSIASTIC CUTE INTELLIGENT PERSONALITY). Had potential Wheel candidates been chosen on the basis of any of those criteria, someone from our group definitely would have made it up on stage, because our group was only made up of fun, enthusiastic, cute, intelligent women full of personality and flair. However, the only criterion necessary for being called up on stage was luck!

Auditions consisted of filling out a registration form, dropping it in a box and waiting for your name to be called out of the spinning tumbler. You'd think with 10 of us, odds would have been in our favor. The sad truth: we were 10 out of about 800 applicants.

We did get noticed, however. Employees of the Wheel loved our custom shirts and even gave us high fives. We had second row seats and were so energetic & enthusiastic (since we believed that would help us get picked), everyone else noticed us too. (We wondered why nobody else was clapping & screaming like we were. Obviously they knew something we didn't.)

Regardless of the outcome, we had a blast! And the pseudo Pat Sajack (a.k.a. "Marty") assured us that just because we weren't chosen that night, there is still a chance that our names may be chosen from the lottery drawing they do after each state audition series. So, he's saying I have a chance? I'm not holding my breath.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Pat and Vanna: Here I Come!

It's official. I've gone completely nuts. Call me crazy, but I'm auditioning for the game show Wheel of Fortune this Wednesday night. A great friend of mine heard that The Wheel was coming to the Tacoma, WA area this week and thought it would be fun to get a group of women together to go audition. You heard about peer pressure as a teenager. Well, I'm hear to tell you it gets even worse as an adult. Something I'd never dare do by myself is becoming all too easy to do in our large group. At last count, about 10 of us will be braving the crowds to try our luck & skill at The Wheel. We've done our research. (Research = watched YouTube videos of other "crazies" at auditions doing their chicken dances, cheers & karaoke routines hoping to get "noticed".) We're ready to impress. We've even come up with our custom designed Wheel of Fortune t-shirts. Stay tuned for pictures. Wish us well, especially me. We need all the help we can get.

Party Crashers

Last Saturday, our friends (yeah...we actually have some)the Elwells, invited us to crash their neighborhood block party. Their neighborhood really knows how to party with the best of 'em. I'm not sure whether the kids had more fun or the adults. Here is the short list of events:

1. Bike parade
2. Visit from the local Fire Dept. (kids could ride the truck, spray the hose, etc..)
3. Bounce house
4. Dunk tank
5. Massive water balloon fight
6. BBQ
7. Games & relays
8. Pie eating contest
9. Fire pit & marshmallow/weenie roast
10. Donut eating on a string
11. Raffle

We had a blast. Thanks Elwell family & neighbors!

Jacob competing in a scooter race.

Jen & Kaylee chowing down.

Kaylee & Natalie stocking up on water balloons.

A crowd gathering at the dunk tank.

Josh and Sean (a.k.a. "Hero")

Kaylee and Brooke eating what was left from the donut eating contest.

Jacob doing the "Hula Hula" relay race.

Jen & Jodi having some fun.

"I've Fallen & I Can't Get Up"

The title pretty much sums it up. Kaylee yelled, "Mom, help! It's an emergency." Most moms would have probably immediately stopped what they were doing and run to the scene of the scream. Not this mom. Kaylee uses "It's an emergency" for anything she deems urgent enough to warrant me leaving whatever project I'm engrossed in to come and see whatever project in which she's engrossed. (Note: I'm using the word "project" loosely here in her case. Project usually involves some sort of mess, just shy of being classified as a natural disaster.)

If you've ever read the Love and Logic books you'll know that the "helicopter" style of discipline is not considered effective, so I usually just allow my kids to work out their own problems. But something in her little voice piqued my curiosity enough that I decided to play along with her game of "cry wolf." I responded to her "it's an emergency" by saying, "Kaylee, what happened?" To which she replied, "Come quick! I've fallen and I can't get up." (See below.)

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Fun on the Fourth

The Fourth of July is a blessed holiday. It reminds me of the blessings I enjoy because of the sacrifices made by others. I am so thankful I was able to spend this day with family I love.

Magleby's Fresh Buttermilk Syrup Recipe

While we were in Utah, my amazing cook of a mother-in-law fixed us the best french toast ever (recipe coming later)with my most favorite syrup of all time: Magleby's Fresh Buttermilk Syrup. (For those of you not familiar with the restaurant Magleby's Fresh based out of Utah, it is a popular place, especially come breakfast time.) Jacob and KK even helped make the syrup. Ever since arriving home, Jacob has begged me to make that syrup. So, I did some Googling and came up with a copycat recipe. I'm not sure if it is the exact same version as my mother-in-laws, but it is still good.

Recipe Category: Sauces & Condiments

1 cube butter
1 cup sugar
1 cup buttermilk
1 Tbsp. vanilla
1 Tbsp. corn syrup
1/2 tsp. baking soda
Directions: Bring first five ingredients to a boil. Add baking soda. Boil 10 seconds and remove from heat immediately to avoid boil over.

NOTE: This is the most delicious syrup recipe ever. Serve it over pancakes, waffles, crepes and even ice cream!

Monday, July 7, 2008

We Were Here. Where Were You???

We haven't been on a real family vacation since my brother Nate married Lynlee in December of 2006. "Why is that?" You might be thinking. For the past 2 years, Josh has been working full-time during the day and completing a full-time MBA program in the evenings. This meant we've been pretty much home bound for the past 2 years. So, being that Josh graduated from his MBA program at the end of May, we were finally free to break away from our captivity and venture out of Washington State. We decided because we hadn't visited our family in Utah since the previously mentioned wedding, it made sense to head there. Much of Josh's family is there (his parents, one set of grandparents, two of his sisters & their families & one brother & his family). I also have family there (my sister & her husband & my brother & his wife). When planning the somewhat last minute & semi-spontaneous trip we were hopeful that we'd be able to see all of our loved ones. Unfortunately, it wasn't meant to be. So, here's a shout out to our long lost Nate & Lynlee who chose to ditch us. WE WERE HERE (Utah). WHERE WERE YOU??? (I California. All we can say is "BIG L". And no, "L" does not stand for LOVE in this case. Try something that rhymes with schmoozers.) We decided we'd visit your pad and make ourselves at home. Hope you don't mind. Here are some pictures to prove it! Ha,ha.

Jen sneaking into the infamous candy jar.

Josh checking out the beverage choices.
He says, "thanks for the porkchop too."

Don't worry Lynlee, Josh took off his shoes
for his "power nap".

Nate, Josh says, "Sorry for using all of the
Charmin. He owes you a roll."

We love you guys and wish you would have been
there to visit.

Soak Up the Sun!

Being from Washington, we love the chance to escape the rain clouds and soak up some sun instead! Over the 4th of July holiday we had the chance to do just that. We drove the 900 miles (each way) to visit Josh's parents and extended family in Utah. We left Wednesday night after work and drove through the night arriving around 8 a.m. Thursday morning. We unloaded the car, ate some breakfast, changed into swimming suits and hit Seven Peaks Water Park for some fun in the sun. Here are some pictures from the day.